Soldier's name to be added to Sutton memorial

Cowling woman Wendy Cochrane recalls stories about her grandfather, Joseph Nelson, who died aged 27

Cowling woman Wendy Cochrane recalls stories about her grandfather, Joseph Nelson, who died aged 27

Joseph Nelson playing for Sutton FC

Joseph Nelson at work in a local mill

Joseph Nelson, who died aged 27, with his wife, Beatrice

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First published in News

A MAN who died from wounds sustained near the end of the Great War will be one of the 11 names added to the Sutton-in-Craven’s war memorial this summer.

Joseph William Nelson, who was well known in Sutton before the war, died in 1922 after being shot in the abdomen by a dum dum bullet just ten days before Armistice Day.

His granddaughter, 59, Wendy Cochrane, 59, The Old Saw Mill, Cowling, is pleased his name is being added to the memorial and will be attending the unveiling ceremony in August.

“I think it’s been a long time coming, but I’m so proud his name is going to be up there with all the other locals who gave their lives for the country so everyone could have a future.”

“Our whole family is delighted and they want to go to the ceremony this summer.”

Mr Nelson, who was born in 1895, worked with Messrs W Smith joinery in Cross Hills prior to his enlistment with the 1/6th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment on July 5, 1915. Initially he served as a private.

He married Beatrice Mary Dewsnap, who was from Barnsley, on October 30, 1915. The couple first met when she lodged with some people who lived near from Mr Nelson and his family.

Private Nelson entered the war on June 24, 1916, disembarking at Le Havre in France.

Then in November 1917, Mr Nelson, who had been promoted to lance corporal, earned a military medal for “bravery in the field” during a battle in the Belgium town of Ypres.

Wendy said: “I’d like to know what he did to earn the medal, but I don’t suppose I’ll ever find out. Whatever he did, he must have put other people first, and it was recognised with a medal.”

Mr Nelson also received a British war medal and a Victory medal.

After being shot just ten days before the end of war, he came back to England and was admitted to a war hospital.

He finally succumbed to his wartime injuries and died on August 17, 1922, at Beckett’s Park Military Hospital in Leeds.

Wendy said: “This was at a time when they didn’t have the medical knowledge that they do today. It must have been a horrific way to die.”

Mr Nelson, and his wife Beatrice, had one son, Leo, who was born in 1916.

“My dad Leo died when I was 18, so any of my family history I knew through my mother.

“My grandma had a very hard life trying to bring up a child on her own. She used to sew for people, make clothes, and do alterations and mending.”

“I remember my grandma. She was a very Victorian lady, and was quite matronly.

Leo was also a soldier, serving with the Army’s Duke of Wellington regiment in Alexandria, North Africa, during World War Two.

Wendy said: “I remember asking him ‘What did you do during the war?’ but he didn’t want to talk about it.”

The memories of that brief talk with her father, along with the stories she heard about her grandfather, have made Wendy reflect on the Great War and its cost to the men who fought in the conflict and their families.

She said: “My grandfather went to war and probably thought he had the world in front of him. I dread to think of the horror he saw out there.

“If you think how small the community was. Every family would have been tainted by it.”

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